Drought Likely to Cause Production Decrease in Spain, Leading Cooperative Predicts

Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias said that the news is not all bad, with olive oil exports buoyed by increased demand from the United States.
Valencia, Spain
Aug 7, 2021 7:54 AM EDT
Ephantus Mukundi

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Spain’s lead­ing agri­cul­tural coop­er­a­tive said the 2021/22 crop year might yield less olive oil than expected due to low rain­fall.

Cooperativas Agro-ali­men­ta­rias arrived at the con­clu­sion after ana­lyz­ing the sit­u­a­tion on the ground in var­i­ous pro­duc­ing regions in light of the high heat and low lev­els of rain­fall expe­ri­enced over the sum­mer.

See Also: 2021 Harvest Updates

The short­age of water reserves means that the allo­ca­tions for irri­ga­tion have fallen to half of what each irri­ga­tor usu­ally needs,” the orga­ni­za­tion said. Therefore, not even the most pro­duc­tive farms will be able to reach their poten­tial pro­duc­tion level.”

As of mid-July, data from the State Meteorological Agency of Spain (Aemet) show that Castilla-La Mancha and Andalusia, the two largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing regions in the coun­try, will receive 75 per­cent and 50 per­cent less rain­fall in the cur­rent crop year than the pre­vi­ous one. The 2020/21 crop year was already con­sid­ered a dry sea­son.

According to the olive oil sec­tor coun­cil of Cooperativas Agro-ali­men­ta­rias, olive oil pro­duc­tion will likely fall below the 1,387,000 tons recorded in the 2020/21 crop year.

However, the pro­gres­sion of the cur­rent crop year remains fruit­ful. Cooperativas Agro-ali­men­ta­rias reported that olive oil exports reached 842,000 tons at the end of July, 25,000 tons more than the pre­vi­ous crop year and 100,000 tons above the 2018/19 crop year.

The orga­ni­za­tion par­tially attrib­uted the rebound in exports to increas­ing demand for bot­tled olive oil in the United States, which sus­pended its tar­iffs on Spanish olive oils in May.

The mar­ket is still active, which is the most notable of these new data,” said Luis Carlos Valero, the gen­eral man­ager of the Association of Young Farmers — Jaén.

In addi­tion, it is very impor­tant that before reach­ing the month of August, which is nor­mally con­sid­ered a month of very low exports or prac­ti­cally none, it con­tin­ues to be con­firmed that the [pro­duc­tion] vol­umes that we are going to have for the com­ing cam­paign will be very low,” he added.





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